Layla's space

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An update

My, it has been a long time. I'm not sure what I've been doing, really. Stuff, I suppose. There's always stuff.

Well, the march had a good turnout, didn't it? 12,000 junior docs and supporters - about 1/3 of the junior doctor workforce - pretty impressive. I was disappointed that the press coverage wasn't more impressive though - Channel Four News gave it the best airing, but failed to interview anyone from RemedyUK formally (or perhaps RemedyUK failed to get itself onto Channel Four News?). David Cameron jumped on the bandwagon for a while (I must confess to clapping during his speech - it did make me feel rather soiled though) but seems to have moved on to other things. However, Patsy has now apologised 'unreservedly' for the whole fiasco. The whole party seems to be apologising this week, not great for the polls. I think we will soon have a Tory government. There is no way in hell I could ever vote Tory however. In fact I am seriously considering spoiling my ballot for the general election unless the Lib Dems can summon some teeth before then (quite literally in the venerable Ming's case, I feel).

We are waiting to find out how exactly we are going to be given our one 'guaranteed' interview - apparently arrangements will begin next week, though they are fast running out of time to re-convene interview panels and interview an extra few thousand doctors before round two begins (I think there's still going to be a round two - to be honest I've given up trying to keep track of the whole sorry mess).

Oh, and somehow I managed to pass PACES. So it's Dr Layla MBBS MRCP now, thank heaven. What a relief that was. I have never been too scared to check my exam results before - a friend actually frog-marched me to a computer and forced me to enter my exam number. My two 'study-buddies' who took the exam with me didn't get it this time, unfortunately, which made things a bit awkward when I just wanted to jump around with a big grin on my face (makes a change from sobbing on the ward about being unemployed). Even more awkward is that I've been pressed into teaching one of them for his re-sit, which is very strange indeed.

And I finally went on holiday to somewhere hot last week with my sweetheart. It was fantastic, and I still feel relaxed despite being back and drowning in orders for platelets that never get here when they're needed (the joys of Haematology).

And I'm back on the Slim Fast (see very first post) - must fit into lovely green dress for Summer Ball in June.


Blogger The Angry Medic said...

Whoa - MBBS MRCP! *drool* Graduation seems so far away, I doubt I'll ever reach your level. I'll just be one of those skeletons along the way found by archaelogists from some distant future when med school only takes 2 years and a pill.

Congrats! And come on, a Tory government doesn't sound THAT bad, does it? At least they'll give the NHS some independence.

April 20, 2007 1:04 AM  
Blogger Layla said...

Thanks angry one. How far away is graduation for you? As my mother said, don't wish your life away - being a student is fabulous (though money does come in handy when you start house jobs, and the drinking and nights out don't really slow down...).

I fear a Tory government would be the death knell for the NHS - it would be privatised bit by bit and would soon cease to exist (not much different from having a Labour government though I suppose - they would just be more honest about what they were up to). Whilst I am certain that our quality of life as doctors would improve with a private health service, I cannot condone privatisation and continue to believe that the NHS was the best idea of the 20th century (yes I know it doesn't work). I therefore cannot possibly vote Tory. Ho hum.

April 22, 2007 5:22 PM  
Anonymous potentilla said...

What, exactly, do you mean by "the NHS"? I agree that it is a mark of a civilised society that everyone should have access to decent health-care. But that doesn't necessarily mean "free at the point of entry" because of the problem of misuse. Nor - especially - does it mean that the state needs directly to employ all the people involved in providing the healthcare Why can't you "condone privatisation"?

Needless to say, you can ignore these questions if you like! I'm just interested in the topic, and in people's views on it, if they want to share them.

April 23, 2007 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


April 23, 2007 7:38 PM  
Blogger Layla said...

Potentilla -

There is, as you suggest, a delicate balance to be struck between providing a health service that is free at the point of entry and discouraging misuse through judicious use of fees (which we aren't doing at the moment). For example I do think we should be charging people who abuse the ambulance service, but I wouldn't like to put a blanket charge on ambulance call outs because I think there is a risk that it may put people off calling an ambulance when they are truly in need of urgent attention.

I have the feeling I know less about the subject than you, but I'm not sure how we could provide a true public service if the employees of such a service were employed by the private sector. Surely patient fee-paying would have to come into it somewhere?

I don't think anyone should have to pay for medical treatment, whether they could afford to or not - it is a basic human right. This is as a matter of principle only - I do realise that in practice it is very difficult to provide a truly excellent service to all. I disagree with privatising any part of the health service as patients will end up paying for it. Current moves towards privatisation have proven costly to the health service (PFI hospitals for example - the NHS ends up paying out far more in the long run to build and run these places than it would had it built them out of its own funds).

April 27, 2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous potentilla said...

not sure how we could provide a true public service if the employees of such a service were employed by the private sector

There are many many variations, but basically hospitals and GPs (etc) could be run by the private sector, including employing all the staff. The patients would "pay" but with money given to them by the government, probably through an insurance scheme where the government paid the "premiums".

Your claim about PFI is not necessarily correct. To start with, the NHS doesn't have "its own funds"; it is paid for out of general taxation. I don't think that Gordon Brown invented PFI for good reasons, but it is certainly the case that funding for NHS-related infrastructure is something that was going to affect the finances of the whole country. The idea that if PFI hadn't existed, there would automatically be more available for other sorts of NHS-related expenditure is (to be honest) complete pie in the sky, althoguh I agree that it is a view put forward by a lot of medical staff.

May 05, 2007 8:37 PM  

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